The Patriot Soccer Academy helped young athletes hone their skills in June.
Patriot coaches had once hosted a summer youth soccer camp at Fort Dorchester High School, but for various reasons it had been a while since they had hosted a camp. When it came to offering a summer event for young people again, the coaches decided to broaden their scope.
“There are a lot of other camps around so we wanted to offer something new,” said Fort Dorchester coach Neil Veloso. “We didn’t know what kind of response we would get, but there was a lot of interest. We follow a community development model. It’s good for us to be closer to the children of the region and it allows us to provide them with solid training and help them in their development.
Academy officials plan to hold an event every summer and also offer activities in winter and spring. This summer, they worked with elementary, middle and high school boys and girls twice a week for four weeks at River Oaks Middle School.
“We keep it fun for the younger kids and teach them basic football skills,” Veloso said. “We separate the younger ones into groups based on age and size and keep the high school students separate. This allows us to give the children of the JV instructions and activities that will help them more. This is great for a player who may not have the ability to play travel ball, as well as someone who is part of a travel team but is looking for some extra practice.
The coaches continued the tradition of having members of the Fort Dorchester varsity teams to help instruct the younger groups.
“It’s something our players can grow from and young kids love being with them,” Veloso said.